According to the Centers for Disease control, Melanoma, otherwise known as skin cancer, is ranked as the most common form of cancer In the United States. Essentially, there are 3 major types of skin cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and Melanoma. Fortunately, detecting these forms of cancers early gives patients the greatest chance of survival.
We’ve put together an article to help you recognize the early signs of skin cancer while also providing some of the best preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of contracting this disease. Listed are 3 tips everyone should know in order to recognize and treat this stealthy culprit.
Tip #1: Recognizing The 5 Signs of Skin Cancer
Typically, skin cancers will develop on areas which are the most sun-exposed like the face, ears, chest, lips, ears, arms, hands, and for women, legs. Rarely, it may form on lesser exposed areas like a patient’s genitals, or beneath their fingernails. When skin cancers like Melanoma occur in people with a darker complexion, it’s more likely to appear on locations which are not normally exposed to the sun, like the palms of a patient’s hand, or the soles of their feet.
Basal Cell Carcinoma will usually appear as pearly, waxy bumps, brown scars or lesions, or a scabbing sore that heals and returns frequently. Like Melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma occurs most frequently in those areas of the skin which are more prone to sun exposure.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma, like its cousins Melanoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma, most frequently occurs on areas of the body which are more prone to sun exposure like patients’ hands and faces. Strangely, people with darker skin tones are more likely to develop this form of cancer on areas which are less prone to sun exposure. Most often, Squamous Cell Carcinoma will appear as a firm red nodule, or a flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface.
Melanoma affects people of any skin tone, tending to occur on the palms of the soles in people of a darker complexion. Signs may include a painful lesion which itches or burns or a mole that changes in color size or feel. Also, large brownish spots or dark lesions may also appear.
Signs of less common skin cancers like Kaposi Sarcoma, Merkel Cell Sarcoma, and Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma Capozzi are most likely to occur in people suffering from immune deficiency disorders like AIDS or those taking immunosuppressive drugs. Signs may include red or purple patches on the skin or mucous membranes.
Merkel Cell Sarcoma will usually appear as firm, shiny nodules beneath skin and hair follicles. Most commonly, it appears on the neck, head, and torso. Lastly, Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma will appear as painless, hard, nodules which will develop anywhere although mostly occur on patients eyelids.
Tip # 2 Preventing Skin Cancer
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there are a few tips people can follow to reduce their risk of contracting skin cancer by as much as 50 percent. One, seek shade. Two, use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Three, cover up with clothing including brimmed hats and UV blocking sunglasses. Lastly, fourth, see a dermatologist annually for a professional examination.
Tip #3 Early Detection Is Key To Successful Treatment
Early detection is the key to successful treatment. Ensure you find a licensed medical professional such as SunDoctors which specializes in Dermatology a pathology and helps you better with the treatment and care.
Wrapping It Up
Even though skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, you can utilize these 3 tips to reduce your chances of contracting this potentially serious disease by as much as 50%.